North Mankato 2-year-old forms unlikely friendship with sanitation driver

A sanitation driver and 2-year-old boy form a special connection
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 4:53 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT
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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — A young child’s joy is something to behold.

Two-year-old Elliot Witte loves the garbage truck. Every Thursday, Elliot waits for his favorite driver, Jeff Weber, to come down his grandparents’ street and say hello.

“It makes my day,” Weber said. “He does. When I come through the first time, he is standing out here waiting, and I give him a little toot of the horn and he knows I am going to be back through, and I know it just makes his day and it makes my day too.”

Elliott brings Weber snacks and water every time he sees the truck.

Then he gets ready to take up the bins from his grandparents’ house, as well as their neighbors. His grandparents say, when 2 p.m. rolls around, Elliot is ready.

“When he comes around the corner, he’s coming!” Elliot’s grandmother Mary Lou Witte said. “And out the door he goes, and he stands out here and will wait, so then he toots the horn at him and just loves that.”

Last week, Weber returned the gift-giving favors. He gave Elliot his own hat, adorned with the truck company’s logo.

“We have a lot of ups and downs and I know if I have a bad Thursday, this little guy is going to turn it around,” Weber said.

Weber is especially thankful for his Thursdays now. In December, Weber had to fight for his life when he contracted COVID-19.

He says he is grateful every day for the blessings of a second chance at life, and Elliot.

“You know, I wonder why God saved me back in December and there’s days like this that remind me of it,” Weber said. “All the love those little kids can give you, he will come and say, I need a hug and that’s some of the sweetest moments.”

Without knowing it, Elliot has created some moments that Weber will remember forever.

“Elliot, you make my day little man, you literally make my day, I look forward to this all week long,” Weber said.

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